KSP trooper shot, killed on Interstate 24

Kentucky State Police say the suspect wanted for shooting and killing a state trooper has died.

Police say 25-year-old Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks of Missouri was found in an area close to Interstate 24 around 7:00 a.m. Monday.

Troopers say Johnson-Shanks had a firearm and they asked him to drop it.

They say Johnson-Shanks refused and aimed his weapon at the troopers. 

That is when an officer fired his weapon, hitting Johnson-Shanks.

He was taken to Caldwell Medical Center in Princeton where he died from his injuries.

Johnson-Shanks was wanted for allegedly shooting and killing Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder.

According to Kentucky State Police, the incident started Sunday evening around 10:20 p.m. when Trooper Ponder stopped a car on I-24 near mile marker 58.

After making contact with the driver, the car sped off.

As Trooper Ponder gave chase, the vehicle suddenly stopped in front of him causing his police cruiser to hit the back of the suspect’s vehicle.

The suspect then fired several shots back at the cruiser, hitting the hood of the car, windshield, and Trooper Ponder.

Trooper Ponder was taken to Caldwell Medical Center in Princeton where he died of his injuries.

Trooper Ponder was a native of Rineyville, Kentucky and graduated from KSP training academy in January 2015.

He was stationed to Post 1, Mayfield and assigned to Trigg County.

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